A Half Century of Health Data for the U.S. Population: The Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS)

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The U.S. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is theworlds longest survey time series of health data and a rich source of information on health conditions, behaviors, and care from the 1960s to the present. NHIS public-use files are difficult to use for long-term analysis, due to complex file structure, changes in questionnaire content, and evolving variable names and coding schemes. Researchers at the Minnesota Population Center have created the Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS) to overcome these problems.IHIS provides access to thousands of consistently coded andwell-documented NHIS variables on the Internet and makes it easy to analyze health trends and differentials. IHIS multiplies the value of NHIS data by allowing researchers to make consistent comparisons over half a century and thus to study U.S. health status as a dynamic process. This article describes the main features of IHIS and suggests fruitful avenues for historical research using these invaluable health data.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalHistorical Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

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